DISTINGUISH WITHOUT SEPARATING #PMCampDOR 2016 – November, 18th and 19th, 2016

logo-dornbirnSix years ago, the PM Camp movement started in Dornbirn. Since then, many PM Camps have been organized in many cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They were all very successful, the participants were always very happy with the results and went back home knowing that they had learned to understand many new things. They also always knew that they had made new friends!

The various organizational teams of all those many PM CMs always created great topics as impulses. In Dornbirn, I remember “Humans are not Resources”, “Breaking Patterns”, in Berlin, for example “Complex versus Complicated” or “Digital in Projects”, in Stuttgart, among others: “Product as Project” and much more.

This year, the organizational team (which I am part of) of the PM-Camp Dornbirn decided to formulate:


as in impulse for the upcoming Barcamp on November, 18th and 19th, 2016. It was Stefan’s idea and I rather liked it. As I see it, this one sentence contains an important message in as little as three words. However, those three words will first need to be de-coded. Here is my attempt at doing so.

Let me first take a closer look at the term “differentiate“ and list the synonyms. Here is what you can find in thesaurus.com:

analyse · categorize · characterize · determine · differentiate · discriminate · divide · figure out · identify · know · qualify · recognize · separate · ascertain · classify· collate · decide · demarcate · diagnose · estimate · extricate · finger · individualize · judge · label · mark · name · part · pinpoint · place · select · sift · signalize · specify · spot · tag · determinate · diagnosticate · make out · mark off  · set apart · set off · single out · sort out · tell apart · tell between · tell from

Separate” is not precisely easy to define, either. Here are the synonyms you get from the same thesaurus:

break · detach · disconnect · divide · divorce · severe · come between · split up· uncombine · split · cleave · dichotomize · disentangle · disjoin · disjoint· dissect · dissever · distribute · intersect · part · rupture · sunder · uncouple · undo · break off · come apart · come away

In the thesaurus, you will also find exciting associations with both terms. I chose not to mention them, because they would have made the list even longer.

In communication, terms have a central role. As I perceive it, the synonyms of “distinguish” mostly sound positive. They often have something to do with “humanity”. As opposed to this, the synonyms of “separate” sound more negative to me, they are functional and cold at best. In a nutshell: what is meant by “distinguish” just sounds a lot better to me than “separate“.

Can it be that simple? Distinguish without separating, just because the synonyms of “distinguish” sound better than those of “separate”? For me, this fits, because I prefer thinking positive to thinking negative. And I also practice the actual achievement of living this positive way of thinking. After all, I want to be a positive person, not a negative person. If I am positive myself, I will find it much easier to be positive towards other persons. And if I have something negative inside, I get frustrated. Which will want to get out of my system. Which means others get to suffer from it.

So basically, it is very easy: you want to distinguish, rather than separate. Because we want to work together, rather than against each other. It is the only way to promote your own happiness and your own success. And only if I respect and appreciate myself, I will also be able to respect and appreciate others. Consequently, the only way to make others happier and more successful is by doing the same for myself. And then, the happiness and success of others will again feel good to me. Because we are all individualists, yet as such always “PARTS OF THE WHOLE“.

I think:

We are all different from each other. We should take this in account and appreciate it. It is nice but still it should not be a reason for moralizing, evaluating and separating. And it should certainly not be a reason to develop enmity, which can easily become destructive.

That is exactly what we want to avoid at all costs on our #PMCampDOR! As we  distinguish without separating, it will turn into a really great and humane Camp! So why don’t you register and then come? I look forward to seeing you all again!

(Translated by EG)

For more articles on “DISTINGUISHING WITHOUT SEPARATING”, see the Blog-Parade zu #PMCampDOR 2016.  I truly believe it is worth browsing through.

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